After falling out of the 2017 NBA Draft, Baylor All-American power forward Johnathan Motley did not have to wait long to get on an NBA roster.
Motley signed a two-way contract with the Dallas Mavericks – just 100 miles from Baylor – according to a report from The Vertical.
Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson previously told ESPN radio that the team was close to signing Motley.
“We all feel for those guys who should be at the end of the first and all of a sudden you’ve got an injury situation [and] get into a free fall,” Nelson said on Friday. “We’ve been in contact and are hopeful and fairly optimistic we can make something happen there.”
Motley became the first consensus All-American in Baylor history last season after averaging 17.3 points and 9.9 rebounds per game for the Bears. For his efforts, Motley also earned the Karl Malone award as best power forward in the nation.
Draft Express pegged him as the No. 39 prospect in the draft, but other mocks previous had him as a borderline first round pick. However, a meniscus tear suffered in the NCAA tournament reportedly scared several teams off. Motley does not have a history of injuries.
Two-way contracts are a new addition to the NBA this season. This deal allows teams to alternate young players between the NBA and G-League more easily. When players are in the G-League, they will be paid G-League money. If they are called up to the NBA, they will be paid the NBA minimum salary.
Previously, players were paid NBA money if sent down the G-League. Most G-League call-ups without guaranteed NBA money were on 10-day contracts. The new system allows teams to take chances on development prospects, but still hold their rights and integrate them into a team system.
NBA teams also expanded roster sizes to compensate for the move. Teams can now have 15 fully salaried players and two two-way contracts before reaching the roster limit.
Motley was the lone draft-eligible player from Baylor this season. Senior small forward Ishmael Wainright opted to join Baylor’s football team and train for the 2018 NFL Draft.